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Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

  • after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.
  • after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

College dorms can be cramped and hard to fit all of your stuff in, especially if you have more than one roommate living in a room with you. Normally, if you just take the essentials, your laptop, backpack, clothes, toiletries, for example, it shouldn’t be a big problem. 

What about music producers though? 

It is already hard to fit all of your music equipment onto a regular desk, not to mention fitting it onto an even smaller desk. Before my freshman year, I did some research to find the optimal solution to this problem. It did take some time convincing my parents and saving up the money, but in the end, I managed to build a budget music studio that I now set up wherever I go.

Here are the essential steps to building your budget music studio in your dorm. 

dorm room music studio
https://images.unsplash.com/photo-1504390747618-f9ea2a96c487?ixlib=rb-1.2.1&ixid=eyJhcHBfaWQiOjEyMDd9&auto=format&fit=crop&w=1317&q=80

Find out how much space you have

First and foremost, you should have an estimate of how much space you have to work with when building a dorm studio. This will give you an idea of how much equipment you can bring to set up in your room.

During my dorm experience, I had to work with a standard desk like the one in the picture above and with a single roommate. Although this isn’t enough room for a full music studio setup, it is possible to build a compact budget studio. The next step is to figure out what equipment you should purchase/bring.

recording studio
https://images.pexels.com/photos/164938/pexels-photo-164938.jpeg?auto=compress&cs=tinysrgb&dpr=2&h=650&w=940

Invest in the right equipment

Having the right equipment for a small dorm space is crucial. When I found out how much space I had in the dorm, I did some research and found the best equipment to invest in for my situation. Below are some recommendations that I have to you if you are just getting started with music production and building your studio in a dorm. 

Speakers and Headphones: 

For the speakers, I went with the KRK Rokit 5 Speakers. For a budget producer, these speakers are a great purchase for the price tag. The sound quality is amazing, the size isn’t too bulky for a dorm room, and the speakers are compatible with many audio interfaces and soundboards.

This might be a hefty investment when you are first starting out, but in the long run, it will be worth it for a great speaker system to produce music on. Plus, you can use these speakers for anything media related to your laptop, including watching a movie or streaming your favorite show.

Here are other great speaker options you can explore if you are looking for an alternative.

As for headphones, I recommend the Audio-Technica ATH-M50x headphones. These headphones are a great investment for music producers or just casual listeners in general. The box also contains various cords to swap out, so you can connect these to your favorite audio interface with ease. The ear cups are very comfortable for long listening periods and the overall structure is well built. Although it doesn’t have Bluetooth capabilities, these speakers are great for studio purposes and your dorm setup.

Audio Interface: 

For the audio interface, I went with the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2. This audio interface is enough for a budget dorm producer that is just starting out in music production. The pros of the Scarlett 2i2 is that it is compact, with measurements of 7.68 x 2.09 x 1.32 inches. Also, the interface is completely USB powered, which means you don’t have to connect it to a power outlet for it to function. This will help with cable management and not having to worry about whether it will be on or not. The Focusrite Scarlett Solo is also another great option if you want something even smaller.

Here is a great article explaining the importance of investing in an audio interface.

USB Management:

When you have only a laptop for music production, USB ports can run out quickly. This is why I recommend a USB Hub to add 4 more ports to your laptop. With a USB hub, you can connect 5 or more USB devices into your laptop so you will never have to worry about running out of USB slots. This is a great investment if you have a USB audio interface and a USB microphone.

Optional Equipment:

Midi Keyboard:

Having a midi keyboard can be extremely helpful in terms of producing efficiently. For those of you that are not familiar with a midi keyboard, it is a keyboard that connects to your computer and allows you to customize it however you like. Essentially it is like a game controller but for your music production software.  Personally, I like to have my midi keyboard at all times so I can play the notes and record them on my daw for efficiency. However, the size of the midi keyboard can be an issue. I chose to buy the Keystation 49es Midi Keyboard. This keyboard is a little bit on the larger side but if you have a place to put this, it will be worth the money. The keyboard is programmable in your daw and it can also USB powered so no need to mess around with power cables. If you have enough money saved up for a midi keyboard I recommend the Keystation 49es.

Here are other midi keyboards you can explore.

Microphone: 

In terms of a microphone, I would not recommend investing in one when you live in a dorm. This is because the recording quality inside a dorm room isn’t too good and the outcome might not be how you want it to sound. Instead, wait until you have an apartment or have access to a music studio on campus. Nearby libraries might also have recording studios, so it might be a good idea to call and check with them.

If you combine the costs of the speakers ($140 x2) and headphones ($149), audio interface ($159.99), midi keyboard ($119), and USB hub ($9.99), the total cost will be around $717.98. This might seem like a lot of money for a college student, but all of this equipment will last you forever and keep you producing music wherever you go.

music recording equipment
https://cdn.pixabay.com/photo/2015/10/23/20/38/studio-1003635_1280.png

Organize your desk perfectly

Organization is key when it comes to building a budget music dorm studio. For my setup, I first placed my two speakers on either side of the desk to see how much room is left for the audio interface and laptop. Then, I connected the audio interface to the speakers and placed it next to my right speaker. After that, I connected my laptop to the audio interface and plugged in an extension cord to add more outlets to the setup. After plugging everything in, I tested the speakers to see if everything worked, and if the speakers were in the right position for the best sound possible.

The only downside to this is that you won’t have your desk to study on, but I worked around this by studying at the library or the lounge area of my dorm. At first, I didn’t think all the equipment would fit, but with the right organization, you can fit more than you expect on a dorm desk.

Last, I just want to say, if you are living with your roommates, it might be a good idea to ask them if they are okay with you setting up a studio in the dorm. Luckily for me, my roommate was okay with me setting up and our schedule aligned so we wouldn’t have to run into any noise problems.

Conclusion on building a budget music studio in your dorm

Overall, building a budget music studio in your dorm room is possible, you just have to take the right steps to accomplish it. For me, I wanted to pursue my passion for music in college, and setting up this studio was the first step. If you plan to do the same, start researching and make it happen!